Middle school years are awkward for everyone, I get that. Here’s my story:
Few people know that I attended a public middle school. Even fewer people know how truly horrible it was for me. (Think Carrie, without the psycho mother, special powers and mass homicide. Still pretty traumatic, don’t you think? )
In all seriousness, my time at Edward H. Cary middle school was the darkest period in my life. I was picked on, teased and taunted; I was called names; I was beat up; I was bullied. It felt like every day was worse than the last. I would hide in the bathroom stall and pray. I would pray that they wouldn’t find me. I would pray for it end. I would pray for me to end.
In their defense, I was an easy target. I was new; I was different; I was bossy; I was poor. Up until 7th grade, I had attended a small, Catholic school in the heart of my beloved barrio of Love Field. Nuns were my teachers. My mom was the school secretary. I had practically grown up with my school chums. Then all of a sudden, my mom lost her job and I was forced to attend a new public school with 700 strangers. I cared about my grades. I liked to read. I sat in the front of the class. I might as well have been an alien. It also didn’t help that I was in love with the school “hottie” and followed him around like a puppy dog.
But I survived. I survived and went on to attend Ursuline Academy then SMU.
Fast forward back to the present.
Thanks to the Dallas Regional Chamber, people can sign up to be “Principal for a Day” at a Dallas ISD school. “Business and civic leaders who wish to share their knowledge with school staff while learning more about our public schools can experience a normal school day in a Dallas school.”
The notion of me returning to Cary and serving as their guest principal was preposterous. You don’t understand. I would purposely avoid the area where Cary is located, which was difficult because my best friend lives just a few streets away. Thanks to my wonderful colleagues in Mayor’s Star Council, I was persuaded to participate. And I’m SO glad I did because I OWNED my “Principal for a Day” experience. I walked the halls that once haunted my nightmares. I passed out my business card (with my fancy title) to EVERYONE I could. I smiled and talked to students as I visited classrooms. Yes, I saw students with tattoos, students that were older than the traditional middle school age, students that could care less about school and their education. I saw the “mean girls.” BUT, I also saw teachers that cared. I saw administrators that would notice if a girl was getting beat up in the band room. It’s far from perfect but it’s safe. And that makes my heart happy.
Some of the greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. I’m glad I didn’t end… I’m just getting started. : )